Last night marked a very special occasion for Shirley Maclaine. Considered America's highest honour for a career in film, last night the 78 year old actress was presented as the 40th recipient of the AFI Life Achievement Award during a ceremony at Culver City in California.

There to congratulate the Hollywood star, was Dakota Fanning who has turned out to be quite a beautiful young lady, Katherine Heigl going for a slight bit of leg cleavage and Meryl Streep who seems to have knicked my bed spread for this outfit. Sure she wins Oscars but she won't be winning any style awards for that. Mena Suvari was also there donned in a beautiful floor length white gown exposing just the right amount of skin and a sexy back tattoo. Other guests included Morgan Freeman still cool enough to wear shades indoors, Downton Abbey's Elizabeth McGovern and one of our favourite actresses, Toni Collette.

While chatting with The Hollywood Reporter about receiving this accolade, Shirley said "I've lived my life; you interpret it."

Of choosing this particular actress for her work that's spanned a number of decades, work that's taken her from movies to theatre to television and more, Sir Howard Stringer, Chair of the American Film Institute's Board of Trustees, said, "Shirley MacLaine is a powerhouse of personality that has illuminated screens large and small across six decades. From ingénue to screen legend, Shirley has entertained a global audience through song, dance, laughter and tears, and her career as writer, director and producer is even further evidence of her passion for the art form and her seemingly boundless talents. There is only one Shirley MacLaine, and it is AFI's honor to present her with its 40th Life Achievement Award."

Congrats Shirley, ya legend!

Caroline Foran